Currently on exhibit in the Tsuga gallery space is a showcase of the best recent work from our family of Northwest artists. The pieces on view feature a mix of styles spanning the spectrum from Expressionist to Realist. While some images depict scenes from travel, cityscapes, or still life, many of the paintings on exhibit highlight the natural environment of the Northwest that entices us to call this place home.
The Northwest has been characterized in film and media as a locale plagued by constant rain and overcast, but locals tend not to view this as a plague so much as a blessing. For many Northwesterners, our natural environment beckons us to be cleansed in the rain and the crisp Fall (and Winter and Spring) air, before we hurry inside to enjoy the comforts of home and hearth. The “dismal” state of typical Northwest weather lends an especially magical sense to those days when the sun does break through to warm our bodies and souls. Upon entering the gallery, C.A. Pierce’s abstract landscapes invite visitors to experience the full spectrum of what the Northwest offers firsthand. Through the haze of her layers of acrylic paint, a dreamy landscape takes shape like a resurfacing memory. Her works are generally marked by what she calls a “moody atmosphere,” generated by the heavy use of warm, autumnal colors. In the distance of many of her landscapes, a soft glint of light on the horizon lends hope to what would otherwise be an oppressive environment - hinting at either the restful embrace of evening or the break of a new day.
Landscapes by Kathy Collins and Jannelle Loewen capture the atmosphere and recognizable scenes of Northwest living. Celebrating our niche between sea and mountains, these images are evocative of the call of the outdoors and inspire wanderlust. Collins’s watercolors are awash with the pervasive dewy mist of Northwest beachfronts. Her audience can almost feel the damp of the fog and the spray around them. Loewen’s images trek into the mountains - depicting lush vignettes of the magic and mystery found in the wilderness. Compositions by Steve Whitney and Lyla Jacobsen tend toward the quiet of local foothills. Gentle light drifts down through cloud cover to kiss rolling hills in Whitney's paintings. Jacobsen’s work highlights the value in a slow pace of living - whether riding horseback or beach combing with friends. Her representative body of work also includes some seascapes and a large acrylic inspired by the bustle of downtown Seattle.
As a whole, the Tsuga Artists - Summer 2015 exhibition takes visitors away from the minutiae of daily living and transports them to a contemplative space that makes us dwell, at least for the moment, on the values and moments of introspection that seem ubiquitous to Northwest living.